BELMOPAN, Wed. Jan. 5, 2022– In light of the recent detection of the presence of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus in the country, the Ministry of Health & Wellness has updated its guidelines on isolation time for COVID-positive persons.
The ministry has stated that the isolation time for persons who test positive has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The isolation time for healthcare personnel and other essential workers, however, has been reduced to seven days. Isolation should begin on the day that a person tests positive.
These new guidelines apply only to asymptomatic persons, persons who have not exhibited/experienced any symptoms of the virus for three consecutive days, and persons who do not need to take special recovery medication such as anti-fever medication. The isolation time for those who still show moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms after their isolation period is to be extended based on the judgment of a qualified medical officer.
According to the ministry, these updated guidelines serve to “minimize essential time loss in those who are asymptomatic or experiencing a mild form of the disease.” The Health Ministry would also like to advise all employers and managers that “only a medical officer may determine isolation periods for individual positive cases.”
In the US, The Center for Disease Control (CDC), which has also updated its guidelines for isolation, has pointed out that the move to shorten the isolation time for persons infected with Covid-19 was made on the basis of scientific evidence showing that transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is highest early in the course of infection (1-2 days before symptoms appear and 2-3 days after).